Millenium Hilton Bangkok Renovations – Shrinking Room

100   Recommended

Panoramic Executive Suite
June 25, 2018 by
Share
Save
Liked:
Location
 
Service
 
Food
 
Amenities
 
Room
 

{{ oRightNav.heading }}


Save

Share

Panoramic Executive Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

Stats
Room
Panoramic Executive Suite

I have stayed 20-25 times at Millenium Hilton Bangkok in the last 4 years for a total of close to 100 nights, almost every time in the panoramic suites facing the river (xx01 and xx02).  I was looking forward to this stay because I asked in advance if the renovations on the high floors were going to be completed in the second half of June and they said some rooms would indeed be ready.  I asked if they could assign me a renovated suite rather than the old suites and they agreed to do it at no extra charge, which was a nice gesture.  The renovations were well overdue although personally I was not exceedingly bothered by the worn-out furniture.  I could often get the basic room for less than 3k THB and pay 1100 THB extra (reduced rate for Diamonds) for the panoramic suite.  Being guaranteed to get the panoramic suite for less than 4k THB was good value as far as I am concerned, and I was willing to compromise on a far from modern room.  That said, I like to mix things up so I have stayed at 10+ other hotels in Bangkok rather than staying exclusively at MH, but I was always pleased enough by MH to return regularly.  

I am sure different people will have different opinions about the renovations.  I recognize that I am possibly at the more pessimistic end of the range of opinions, so take it into consideration when reading my comments.  

Room

As soon as I entered the room the first thing that came to my mind is am I crazy or the room is smaller than before? How could the room feel smaller despite having less bulky furniture than before, and having completely removed some other furniture altogether?  They have made changes that cut down on space in many areas of the room.  All those inches here and there… it adds up and it feels less expansive than before.  Someone who stays in that room for the first time will probably not think the suite is small and I won’t disagree.  However from my point of view I am comparing to what it was before and I am rating how well they did with renovations and changes.  In my opinion they could have used the space more efficiently.

First off, the best selling point of the panoramic suite used to be the great curved windows with the view of the river.  They have built a new (short) wall in front of the windows at both ends so now the window frontage is smaller (20% less?) and there is wasted space behind a wall on both sides.  Granted, part of the windows at both ends were blocked by curtains in the past anyway, but I believe that covering a good portion of the windows with a wall contributes to the feeling that the room is smaller and less impressive than before.  On the left side of the windows, at the entrance of the bedroom there used to be a corner big enough to have a plant there in front of the window.  Now the new wall is nearly flat with the bedroom door, removing not only space but also covering a chunk of the window, which is unfortunate.  I just don’t see the upside of adding that wall and I wonder if there was some other reason for it (electrical work?) because it seems to be an empty wall right now. 

20180622_232100.jpg20180623_011821.jpg

On the other side of the windows it is even worse.  The blue wall panel you see on the picture is straight in front of the window (and part of the beige panel as well), but in addition they put the mini-bar and fridge besides the blue wall panel, further creating wasted space, all in front of the window.  

20180622_090606.jpg20180622_232525.jpg20180622_232611.jpg20180622_232915.jpg

The TV remains on a short wall which is moving forward into the living room but they took away the DVD player which itself was taking no space at all.  

20180622_090514.jpg

In a few other parts of the room, they have made walls thicker by installing a decorative panel on the wall, sometimes perhaps overusing the concept with a few layers on top of each other (for example at the head of the bed) further taking up space. There is now a sliding door between the bedroom and the closet which is leading to the bathroom, instead of the door being between the closet and the bathroom.  Oddly the door is not flush with the wall as you can see.  

20180622_093919.jpg20180622_233037.jpg

The closet corridor seems narrower than before because the cabinets are bulkier than before, and they also took out other space by building a new wall in the corner near the cabinets when they moved where the power plug is.  

20180622_094003.jpg20180622_233149.jpg

Far less renovation work was done in the bathrooms except for repainting to cover some dark spots that used to be on the ceiling of the shower.  Since they were closing entire floors for several months, I am sure they considered the option of fully renovating the bathrooms too.  The bathrooms did not absolutely need it, but because they left bathrooms mostly untouched, I cannot compare MH to more modern hotels where everything is new.  

20180622_090232.jpg20180622_090242.jpg20180622_090713.jpg

I made a few other minor observations about the room that I won’t get into detail here because I will just sound like I am nitpicking, and my intent is not to be overly negative here.

A new client to MH will most likely feel that this room is quite airy and modern with nice new furniture.  Convenient international power plugs and USB ports were added near the working desk.  There are now also power plugs by the side of the bed which used to be lacking before, but they still only did just one side of the bed properly.  The other side only has one power plug under the night table and it’s used for the radio clock.  The floor was redone and instead of the old red carpet, now there is hardwood floor in the living room with a large round carpet in the middle so it’s a great improvement.  The new carpet in the bedroom is nice as well.  I also liked the new mood lighting in the mini-bar and in the bedroom.  

20180622_090317.jpg20180622_090409.jpg20180622_090653.jpg20180622_093810.jpg20180622_093831.jpg20180622_232747.jpg

Not related to the room itself, but I would also note that the corridor outside the rooms is stylish and more inviting than before. 

20180622_092715.jpg20180622_092741.jpg

Dining

In the executive lounge they cut out the sweet U.K. sparking wine; not that I cared for it much, but just an observation. The list of cocktails during happy hour has also shrunk.  Overall a slight downgrade so I am afraid no good news on that front.  However for breakfast in the restaurant I had for the first time a small treat for Diamond members which was appreciated.  

20180624_225832.jpg

We ordered room service once and had the buffet lunch another day, both were excellent as usual.  

Service

Service in the hotel continues to be excellent and especially as a returning customer I am always taken care of well.  The executive lounge is as enjoyable as before too in terms of décor and friendliness of staff.  I asked a late check-out 4pm but I was forced to leave at 2pm which was not optimal but since they have very few of the renovated suites available and they were sold out that evening, I could understand and I did not push it, but could not help thinking that it would not happen at Starwood, Marriott, and Hyatt hotels where 4pm check-out is guaranteed for guests with elite status. At least they were accommodating enough to let me stay in the executive lounge after 2pm.  

Overall

My review is mostly not about whether the room is nice or not for someone who visits the hotel for the first time, which I believe it is and which is the reason I selected “recommended” in my review.  However the important question is, given the changes am I more or less likely to return in the future?  Now the room is more fresh and modern, which is a plus, at the cost of a bit less space and an inferior feeling of grandeur in the living room due to the situation with windows.  It’s not like the room was small to begin with so it’s not a bad room and the view remains impressive.  However the problem is that you get some pluses and some minuses, and the price will go up.  I can see now that they are selling the renovated suites for 800 THB more than the unrenovated suites, so does it mean that in the future Diamonds will have to pay closer to 4.5k-5.0k THB after the Diamond ‘special discount’ upgrade from the basic room to the panoramic suite, rather than a sub 4k THB rate?  If so, then the answer is that the renovations along with the extra price tag will result in me going less often to this hotel in the future, so the renovations are a relative thumb down for me because I don’t see that room being worth 800 THB more now. I am not saying I will never return, but my point is that if the rate is close to 4.5k-5k THB for a suite, then at that price level it starts getting into a different league of hotels and in Bangkok there are plenty of Starwood and Marriott hotels who are tough competition and who are quite generous with suite upgrades for free, unlike MH where perhaps the cost of the suite upgrade might have gone up materially for a renovated room I am not entirely satisfied with.  Bottom line, there is not much room for error in the Bangkok hotel market and if you spend a lot of money on renovations, the changes need to be quite universally positive in order to make customers willing to pay significantly more to stay.  If the result of the renovations is mixed, then you won’t get a good return on your investment.  I am afraid that is the case here, at least based on my humble opinion.    

 

410 Comments

This review lives in the Millennium Hilton Bangkok {THA} thread.
410 comments and Y review

Hotels you may also be interested in